Friday, September 3, 2010

Glenn Beck and the Church

The Resore Honor Rally:

"For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.” -Luke 16:8

For the sake of argument we’ll consider Glenn Beck as a “child of this world,” being that he is a Fox News commentator and not a Christian preacher or Christian news commentator by trade. As with any conservative commentator, Glenn Beck has his pluses and minuses; both of which Catholics can learn from.

On August 28th, 2010 Glenn Beck hosted a “Restoring Honor” rally at the mall in Washington D.C. No one will doubt that it took some prudence on his part to inspire 400,000 plus to make the necessary sacrifice in order to travel to our nation’s capital to hear what he had to say. It was quite a feat. If I am not mistaken, only Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were capable of drawing that many people.

The reason why I want to draw your attention to the “Restoring Honor” rally is because the Catholic Church used to practice some- but not all -of the methods Glenn Beck has used to galvanize the multitude. When I say “used to practice,” I mean “used to practice” on a regular basis and on a wide scale. Of course, there are some “minuses” of Mr. Beck’s approaches we should consider as well.

The Plus of Glenn Beck: Lessons Learned From What He Does Right

They say that the media cannot create a mood or a passion in the public; they can only tap into it. In 2009-2010, Glenn Beck had tapped into something that already existed in the minds of many Americans: The question as to whether or not America would survive. Given the encroachments of the Federal government on human dignity, religious liberty and free enterprise, our nation's integrity and prosperity became increasingly uncertain. To this concern, Mr. Beck effectively communicates his conservative principles in relation to the news of the day.

Glenn Beck is not satisfied with addressing what President Barak Obama believes or what his key players in the administration believes; but instead, he probes into what inspires those beliefs. As such, his audience became more acquainted with the ideology of politicians and the history of influential ideologues. Even U.S. Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Roosevelt were given a historical context few Americans knew about.

The mainstream media and even the conservative media, with few exceptions, are largely uninterested in American history. But as Glenn would say, “Past is prologue.” To know where we are going we must first know what we are. And to know what we are we have to know where we came from. Indeed, history is not only a preview of the future, but it also makes clear what lies hidden in today’s world. Without knowledge of history, we will never understand the world as it really is.

Say what you will about Glenn Beck. Even his critics would have to admit that tapping into a widely held concern about America's durability and using that concern to educate Americans about the news of the day and the nation's history has served the Glenn Beck program well. The children of light can learn something from this and use it for the higher purpose of advancing the Gospel.